International conference with students in Australia and model making as design process

I just finished a wonderful online conversation with a professor and students in an online art class in Australia. They wrote in wonderful questions about my work, my design process, my thoughts about how my work relates to the Land Artists, appropriate aesthetics for the natural environment, how much of my work I do myself vs having a fabricator, and lots more. The professor asked me the questions on audio and she and I traded back and forth on the mike button. The students could add to the conversation via a chat box and we could post images of sculptures I was discussing. I hope to write about some of these “FAC’s” in the future, and I hope the students will post some of their observations and responses to the talk as well!
The questions on my project development helped me realize how important model building is to my design process—I don’t feel I draw well enough to make my ideas clear through drawings, and until we develop mind to screen image transfers (good thing Steve Jobs is no longer listening) I needed a way to convey my ideas. I’m sometimes surprised to discover how close the finished sculpture is to the model, and on international projects taking the model to the site and sharing it with assistants and volunteers overcomes language handicaps. I find if I make a model for a proposal and see it in my studio, it reminds me when I don’t have a site to create it that I need to keep trying—a visual prompt for me as well as others. And I’ve found it’s a very good idea to figure out design flaws on a small scale before I do it on a huge sculpture and it’s too late to change!

Model for "framed" raptor roost

"Framed" raptor roost sculpture

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